In case you didn’t know, Twitter actually has an updated list of trending topics in its home page. These trending topics are based on a proprietary algorithm that factors in both the number of tweets and recent increases in that number. But a group of researchers from MIT were able to create an algorithm for Twitter than can reportedly predict the trending topics better. The researchers, led by Associate Professor Devavrat Shah, claims that the newly created algorithm is 95 percent accurate and around 90 minutes faster than Twitter’s existing service.
Essentially, the algorithm will scan a number of tweets and will compare the gathered data with the latest information available to detect the patterns. If an older tweet will continue to have matching tweets, then there’s a high chance that the topic is trending. The researchers say that the algorithm works like the stock market and that it can be applied to almost anything. Twitter could benefit from the new algorithm and the social platform could even charge a premium for ads linked to popular topics. “But it also represents a new approach to statistical analysis that could, in theory, apply to any quantity that varies over time: the duration of a bus ride, ticket sales for films, maybe even stock prices,” says Larry Hardesty from the MIT News Office.